Events in Munich, Spring & Summer 2008

OK, so I got distracted a few days. My record of never losing a tourist on any tour was ruined yesterday by 4 Russians. They came back to the office today very apologetically and rented bikes…they clearly knew it was their fault…and took responsibility, but it still hurts, as there goes my record *sniffle* They said they did enjoy the tour and had a good time, though.

Anyways, here are some of the events that I’m looking forward to this summer in Munich and you might want to consider if you plan on visiting Munich:

April 11th – 27th, Frühlingsfest (spring festival):  The spring festival is located at the Theresienwiese (oktoberfest grounds) and is just a 10 minute walk from the main train station here in Munich.  The festival itself is tiny in comparison to the Oktoberfest, but it has a couple decent size tents and can certainly be a good time.  Lots of kids go to this one…

April 26 – May 4th, The May Dult: The may dult is a big flea market held at Mariahilfplatz, a short tram, U-bahn, or bus ride from downtown. Flea markets here aren’t really my thing, but if you happen to be in town while this is going on, it could be interesting to check out, and there are lots of food stands so you can eat with the locals. Not a lot of tourists make it to the May Dult, since it’s not downtown.

June 6th “Typically Munich” – Starting June 6th, the city museum of Munich has a special exhibit about all things they deem typical of Munich. I love the city museum anyways and highly recommend it to anyone visiting, but I’m looking forward to this exhibit which hopefully gives more information about the culture of this area to the casual visitor too lazy to take a tour. If you want a tour explaining the culture of the area, I recommend >this tour.

June 14th and 15th, The Town Foundation Festival – This should be a lot of fun. Every year the city throws a party celebrating the relatively new town’s age, but this year is 850 years, so it’ll be quite the party, all over the old town area of Munich.

June 14th, The re-opening of the Cuvillies theater – Munich’s oldest existing opera house has been closed for several years, but starting June 14th, we can see it in all its glory again. It will open with a performance of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” which, fittingly, originally premiered at the Cuvillies theater.

June 19th – July 13th, The Summer Tollwood Festival – The summer tollwood festival takes place at the southern edge of the Olympic Park. It’s part high-end flea market (think new-age trinkets) and part music venue. There are bands playing every night so I won’t list them here unless I find time another day. It’s nice, but I skipped it last year if that says anything. I’ll be going this year, however, to show friends…because it is worth seeing if you’re staying in Munich for a week or two, just not if you only have a couple days. There’s lots of food stalls and out door eating areas, good food and beer.

July 12th, Opera For All – The concept of Opera for all is to have a free opera performance to attract a larger audience and for the casual fan that might enjoy an opera, but finds the prices a bit steep. Previous years they have held the Opera For All perfomance right at Max Joseph platz, however, this year it will be at Marstall platz, which is just behind the Residenz. It is free and the performances will be the symphony No 1, in D minor, D 944 by Charles Ives and the Symphony No 9, in C major, D 944 “The Great” by Franz Schubert.

July 19th and 20th, The Old Town Ring Road Festival – a big party on the streets that surround the old town? yes please. This is also celebrating Munich’s 850 year history in another big party on the streets, should be fun.

August 1st-3rd, The Isar Bridges Festival – The founding of Munich was really when they built a bridge back in 1158, so for August of 2008, they neeed another big party, this time along the river. A big party to celebrate Munich every month of the summer is sounding nice.

Apparently the scots were out in full force at Marienplatz last week, here’s a bunch of Aberdeen fans with Munich’s riot police:

Munich’s 850th

A few weeks ago I got the city’s list of planned events in Munich for this year.  This is an important year for Munich as the city celebrates 850 years since its founding.  The actual founding day is June 14th, and so that weekend will be the most obvious time to see the celebrations.  Previous years I’ve seen the city’s founding weekend have quite the party all around the downtown area, but this year I guess I’m expecting more.  It’s hard to tell if it really will be much more than usual, but even if it’s just the usual, it’s still a very good time to be around downtown Munich.  For example, you should expect a stage with various performers at Marienplatz as well as a large setup of some kind at Odeonsplatz…and various things all over in between.

Again, the weekend of the city’s founding celebration is June 14th-15th.  I think I’ll take that weekend off as I should have visitors at that time anyways.

 My next post will be on other events going on in 2008, hopefully coming to you tonight, but maybe tomorrow.  cheers.

A day in Salzburg yesterday, today a private tour around Munich.

Tours are going alright lately, though I think I’m freezing. I shouldn’t be complaining as the alternative, Minnesota, is much worse.

However, after a few hours walking outside, it is a tad bit chilly. Yesterday I had a Salzburg tour with all Americans, which is odd. Even more odd is nearly all of them were from Los Angeles, although a couple were from South Carolina…and they even added me to their myspace.Speaking of myspace, I added a new spiffy banner thing to my myspace for this site…I think it’s looking good.

Anyways, the couple from South Carolina are visiting a friend who works for BMW (fairly common actually), so they took the opportunity to see a bit of Europe. This was their first trip to Europe, so I hope they enjoyed themselves, I think they liked it…but they wanted to go home after 10 days over here, which I don’t understand, haha.

Today I nearly froze to death, but it was a nice walk around town with a Chinese couple…including a beer at the HofBrauhaus half way through the tour, which always helps.

Top 5 Churches in Munich

I know, I know…what’s with me dragging you to all the churches, right?
Well, for centuries the money for art and architecture flowed either to/from the Royalty or to/from the Church.
I think it’s time to cover a few of the churches that I think are the most impressive and worth seeing in the city of Munich (I’ll include the burbs too).
Here’s my top 5 churches to see while you’re in Munich:

1. The Asam Church (Asamkirche)
If you like Rococo, you’ll like this church, my personal favorite…although not on the route of most tours of the city.

2. Fürstenfeld Abbey
This one is visited by very few tourists a year in comparison to all the others on the list, mostly because it’s out in the burbs and not downtown Munich. However, it’s a beautiful church and well worth seeing.

3. St. Michael’s
Similar to one of my favorites in Rome, Il Gesu. Some just visit St. Michael’s for the crypt alone, but this church can be one of the highlights of a trip to Munich.

4. St. Peter’s
I feel guilty about not ranking this one higher, purely because of its importance to the city of Munich. This is my 2nd stop on all city tours for a reason!

5. Theatinerkirche
You might know it as “the yellow church in Munich” from other travelers, the crypt (only open in the summer) includes the first king of Greece, who was Bavarian…the brother of King Ludwig I.

…and as always, if you want the full story on these churches, take a tour or contact me directly…I find if I write too much on here about any specific church, I lose people’s interest.
As you can see these churches are all in the renaissance, baroque, or rococo styles. If you want to see Gothic or Romanesque: Munich is probably not the place to visit.

Munich votes for Obama

Last night was the official Democrats Abroad Munich primary vote…and with supposedly exactly 100 people turning up to vote.

 58 voted for Obama

41 voted for Clinton

1 for Edwards

Apparently, it was a much better turnout than any previous DA event in Munich, so that’s good news.  It turned into a party of course…and it was a damn good time.  I’m still recovering.

Earlier in the day I walked around Munich with a random Brazilian physiotherapist I happen to have run into.  Here’s some of the pics I took…as it was Fat Tuesday:

Fasching in Munich

Hof Brau fest hall

Fasching in Munich

Hellabrunn Zoo

Sorry about not posting for a few days, I’d say I’ve been busy, but well…

Sunday we went to the Hellabrunn Zoo, here in Munich.  This is not necessarily what I’d send tourists to if they only have a few days, even a few weeks, in Munich…but yet it does come up every other month or so.  The zoo isn’t my favorite, but it’s not bad either.  It’s mostly outdoors, the animals have pretty good living conditions (quite a bit of space), and in the summer they look much happier.  This time, well, some are hibernating and others aren’t allowed out because they’d probably freeze to death.  So, they’re probably feeling a bit cooped up at the moment.

Highlights of the Hellabrunn Zoo for me always include the seals, sea lions, polar bears, and penguins. (in that order)

For those living in Munich, you can get a discount card like we have where you start saving € the third visit.  (basically half off)

Anyways, we went to the zoo…umm…today I had a very small tour, but it was nice…a woman from Norway and a woman from Argentina.  Fasching is in full swing.  Good times.

Mr. Rhino hanging out as close as he can to the visitors

A Penguin from Peru, I didn't even know they had'em in Peru.